I have known this pillar of the writing community for three years and have always found encouragement, support and inspiration in his company.
Thank you Ferrel, for featuring an interview with so many thriving authors on your website www.thejesusroad.com You bring out the best in us all!
Thank you for being here with us today and giving us a glimpse into your remarkable writing career.
Nicola: Question one: What first interested you in writing?
Ferrel: You know, I don’t remember. I endured a stroke, as you know and it wiped out whole sections of my memory. When I woke up, I was in the hospital and couldn’t speak and didn’t know where I was. Gradually, when they thought I could understand it, I was told I was diabetic, and had a stroke. I didn’t even know what they were talking about. Over the next few days, I became aware enough to comprehend that I’d had a stroke but I found that I couldn’t talk- I had aphasia. I didn’t even know what writing was. I couldn’t think clearly enough to remember.
But, eventually, I remembered writing, but I couldn’t remember how to write. I couldn’t type or even handwrite and, since I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t dictate either. I thought my writing days were behind me. But I still nurtured somewhere inside me the hope that I someday I would be able to write.
So, when I was let go from my week in the hospital, I was turned loose, and my wife had to drive me home, but I was still an invalid. My entire right side of my body was damaged. I was pretty well done for, except that I still felt a glimmer of hope.
I don’t know when I became aware of God’s hand in my life, trying to teach me something like I had been saved for… something. To do something that would glorify God, and gradually I came to the knowledge that a part of it was to write again, which seemed pretty well impossible considering the shape that I was in. I remember sitting down at my computer for the first time and trying to type. It was five words in the first hour, and they weren’t hardly comprehensible at all. But every day, I sat down at that computer and pecked out the obligatory five words, even though it took me sometimes all day to think of something to say. Then ten words, then fifteen words until I got up to 2,000 words in a day. I don’t know how I did it. God’s hand was in it, guiding me, keeping me going the whole time.
Now, I am fully recovered except every now and then I have bouts of aphasia when I can’t speak- but that’s okay, because I can still write.
Nicola: All I can say in reply is, you are a profound inspiration. You persevered and showed the wonders of brain plasticity! Question two: What kind of things did you write?
Ferrel: That gets into a little easier territory. Before my stroke, I wrote horror/thriller stories. But sometime after I had written them, I found God and started writing Christian non-fiction. But I wanted to reach a wider audience than just that, so I extended myself to writing Christian science fiction. I authored a work called The Jesus Road- 2056 Expedition by myself, and then followed it up with The Jesus Road II- Waiting written by myself and Ron Grasmick
Nicola: I’ve read some of the Jesus Road and look forward to enjoying both books. And I’ll see if Rob Grasmick will honour us with an interview here! Question three: How in the world did you make the jump to audio?
Ferrel: I don’t know, actually. That happened before the stroke! But I suspect it was because I saw any opportunity for a wider market, than just print books.
Nicola: Yes, audiobooks are the delight of anyone with a task to do that leaves the mind free to explore new worlds. Question four: What were your first audio recordings like?
Ferrel: It was an expensive mistake! I recorded The Ghost Box by a man who had a fine, deep voice for non-fiction, such as Townsend Mountain but not at all suitable for fiction. So I had to pay to re-record that book with another voice artist- and I’m glad I did. The second book, Tainted Blood, I paid a real professional to do, and I was really satisfied with it, and it just took off from there.
Nicola: So true! The narrator/author team is an important collaboration. I’m happy to hear you have had success with audiobooks! Question five: How have you evolved since your early recordings?
Ferrel: Oh yes, I have evolved. Now I only work with voice professionals, and have been very satisfied. I work with a variety of voices, too. My last effort was with a voice professional named Theo Holland, who did a fantastic job for Alamo Risiing. https://bit.ly/30vIMBp Because I publish other people’s work, http://www.whitecatpublications.com/ I have to pick and choose carefully.
Nicola: Question six: What are you were working on now?
Ferrel: I’m working on two books currently. One called Paladin’s Honor, which I am just finished editing, and another called the White Werewolf which I was going to give to Theo, but he is now out of the business, as his wife got a job in London, England so he’s officially out of the business! So I have to find someone else.
Nicola: There are many talented narrators and unique voices out there! Something for every project.
The last question we have for you today is, how can people get in touch with you to get your recordings or express an interest in your work?
Ferrel: Well, I’m not doing any audio now, since I’ve got aphasia still! I know, it’s a bother that my voice is still not up to snuff, but it’s getting better. But until then, I’m farming the work out and concentrating on the publishing end of my business. And they can reach me at email@example.com. Thanks, Nicola, for the opportunity to be interviewed by you.
Nicola: Your spirit is so inspiring, Ferrel. You have given me great hope in the writing business, and in the audiobook market. We wish you all the best with your writing, your recovery, and White Cat Publications!